You may have questioned if you could receive a doctor’s note without seeing one. Setting up an appointment, traveling to the clinic, and requesting a physical letter may seem like too much trouble in some situations, especially when you’re sick.

For some, this level of effort may make acquiring the note pointless, or perhaps impossible, especially if your doctor is unavailable and you return to work or school feeling less than your typical self. You’re not alone if you’ve ever been in this situation. Minor medical issues that might not be worth the time or money to get a letter put you in the difficult position of having to choose between your health and your obligations.

Would you believe that a single piece of paper can play a huge role at work? Take a doctor’s note, for example. No matter how small that document is, it is crucial in proving that a person did consult a doctor. The doctor’s signature alone in that single note serves as a major piece of evidence in case an employer wants proof that an employee who got sick did see a doctor and received the proper diagnosis. But how can you summarize all the essential details and findings gathered by the doctor in one sheet? Learn more about doctor’s notes below.

Doctor’s Note: What Is It?

A doctor’s note, also known as a doctor’s excuse, is a piece of paper issued by a medical expert that serves as proof that you saw a doctor. It’s a legal document that confirms you had an appointment, and it’s created either directly by the doctor or by their office administration. Using a doctor’s note template to forge such a document is both unlawful and unethical. However, it is not uncommon for people to try to get out of obligations at school or work by falsifying a doctor’s note. Some people may be experiencing symptoms but are unable to schedule an appointment in time to justify their absence. In any case, a true doctor’s note is always the best choice.

A doctor’s note is the official document used to explain what sickness and diagnosis a person had, as written by the doctor. And doctor’s notes work like excuse letters which schools and employers require to prove that a person’s absence from school or work was really due to medical reasons. Hence, this document summarizes all the doctor’s important findings of the person of concern.

According to Human Resources Director, requesting a doctor’s note is tricky—besides justifying one’s absence from an illness, the doctor’s note may invade privacy or implement a lack of trust among workers.

The Anatomy of a Doctor’s Note

What does a doctor’s note look like? You can easily tell what a doctor’s note is when you familiarize its common elements. So in this section, identify the parts or anatomy of a basic doctor’s note.

Introduction: Set a proper introduction so that the moment you look at a document, you can tell that it is a doctor’s note right away. And you can do that by inserting the title ‘Doctor’s Note,’ the doctor’s name, name of hospital or clinic, and the date/time of when the patient consulted the doctor. The document should have an official-sounding title: Absence Authorization, Physician’s Statement for Medical Absence, Sick Leave Authorization, Medical Record Certification, and so on are examples. Choose a title that is appropriate for the situation.  Doctor/Medical Facility Information: Include the doctor’s and/or facility’s name, address, and contact information. When it’s suitable, include the doctor’s specialty. If you’re making a phony doctor’s excuse note, utilize a legitimate medical facility’s name and a doctor’s name that sounds genuine.  Date of Document: Indicate the date and hour of the doctor’s appointment (if known).  Patient’s Information: After the introduction comes the patient’s essential information. Identify the patient from the name, address, and contact numbers. Include the patient’s complete name at the very least. You may also want to include your age, gender, birth date, and address.Medical Diagnosis: Once the patient receives the checkup and the doctor identifies the problem, the doctor eventually writes about the medical diagnosis. The same goes for a brief description of the diagnosis or illness. Include the cause for the medical visit, such as a cold, the flu, an accident, or an injury. Certification of Condition: A medical professional’s statement certifying the patient’s specific sickness, injury, or other health condition.  What’s being approved: Indicate the number of days the patient will be away, the type of work or play they are physically capable of, and any additional activities they have been cleared to do.  Medical Advice or Prescription: It is expected for the doctor’s note to include the medical prescription or advice. So what should the patient do to improve his or her health? And if the patient may need to go to the emergency room or requires urgent care, what should be done? Jot everything down in this segment.Doctor’s Signature: The doctor’s note would end with the doctor’s full name and signature to confirm all the details encoded. The same goes for the stamping of the official seal to make the note valid. And before the signature, there should be a clear statement that the patient is fit to return to work or not yet. Above the doctor’s full name and title, the doctor’s signature should appear near the bottom of the page. Some recipients may also require notarization of the signature.

Situations Where You Can Use a Doctor’s Note

Medical excuse notes are occasionally used as a last resort when a person is unable to see a doctor for formal absence authorisation for whatever reason. Here are some examples of when this might happen:

A Sudden and Short Illness: There are instances when people get sick and miss a few days of work or school. Although the sickness may have progressed before you have time to schedule a doctor’s appointment, a medical excuse is still required to justify the absence.  Absence for a Personal Reason: If a student or employee has a personal reason for being absent and does not want their school or employer to know about it, a phony doctor excuse note may be used to cover the days missed.   Illness of a Family Member: Some businesses do not allow employees to take time off when a family member is unwell. However, there are occasions when people wish to look after their loved ones and provide emotional support when they are going through a difficult moment. 

How to Make a Doctor’s Note

When you need to create a doctor’s note pronto, use sample doctor’s note templates. You can see each sample listed above. Just pick your preferred template, work on the details, and produce it afterward. But, don’t rush the process because giving sensitive information in the notes such as medical details should be taken carefully and seriously. Hence, you must also follow these steps in making doctor’s notes:

Step 1: Be Guided with the Doctor’s Note Anatomy

With a document or template to use, be sure you can start labeling the form from top to bottom. Use the anatomy of a doctor’s note as your guide. So down from the introduction down to the signature line, be sure you have labeled the note properly. And in inserting every element into the document, arrange them as well. Making categories, tables, and charts are welcome.

Step 2: Design the Document with Company Branding

If you are the doctor or representative of a hospital, clinic, or business, then you are expected to incorporate your branding into the doctor’s note. The document would have the business logo, contact information, signature themes or colors, official seal, etc. In fact, there are a lot of things you can do to customize a sample doctor’s note so be creative too. However, it is a no-no to use automatic or printed signatures because anyone could forge a signed doctor’s note that way. Handwritten signatures are better.

Step 3: Use an Easy-to-Follow Structure

Everybody wants a user-friendly document. By that, it means the document is easy to understand or follow. The key is to be straightforward with the details. For example, there is no need to introduce an employee or patient’s info in a paragraph form but just stick with enumerating the employee information forms. Doctor’s notes that are short, direct, and understandable enough are worth it.

Step 4: Finalize the Desired Output

Lastly, decide how the outcome of the doctor’s note should be. Do you want it printed or just a soft copy of it? Hence, come up with the final design and format of your doctor’s note until it is ready to be produced. And for companies that require the doctor’s note, be sure to set clear rules and regulations regarding how the submission process goes so no employee gets confused.


What are other names of a doctor’s note?

A doctor’s note can be referred to as a medical excuse note, doctor’s excuse letter, or simply a doctor’s excuse.

Should a doctor’s note be required?

It depends on the company requiring a doctor’s note to mandate it or not. Whatever the decision is, it must be informed ahead. In fact, requesting a doctor’s note is tricky. Yes, it is helpful to justify an absence from the answers written in the note. But, some patients might find that practice to invade their privacy or a lack of trust.

Why is a doctor’s note important?

A doctor’s note is important to confirm why a certain person got absent for certain days in school, work, or any business. And if an illness is the reason, at least the doctor’s note would state what the actual condition was and ensure that the patient received proper treatment. More so, doctor’s notes are helpful for documentation at work, particularly in assessing if someone’s sick leave should be approved or not.

Is it necessary for the doctor to include detailed facts about my disease in the certificate?

The right to privacy of a patient must be respected; without the patient’s consent, diagnosis or specifics of the condition should not be included in a medical certificate. Patients can ask their doctors not to include information regarding their diagnosis in their certificates, although in this instance, the information on the certificate may not be sufficient to qualify for sick leave. An employer has the last say on whether or not to accept a certificate.

Is it possible for a doctor to refuse to issue a medical certificate?

A doctor’s refusal to grant a certificate is possible. This can happen if the practitioner does not believe that time off work is necessary due to the severity of the sickness, or if a certificate is requested retroactively and the practitioner is unsure of the facts.

When submitting a doctor’s note is required in your business, be sure there is a clear format, design, and set of information in the document. That way, questioning anyone’s absence due to a sickness or medical condition won’t be necessary, especially if the note provides enough and relevant data. And by using the sample doctor’s notes listed above, you can surely achieve an easy, professional, and well-crafted version of a doctor’s note shortly.